UPDATE: Victim drops charges against Raleigh County Teacher and boyfriend

West Virginia

UPDATE: May 20, 2021 10:00 a.m. BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — The victim of a shooting drops the charges against a Raleigh County Teacher.

Hilarie Pettry, a Raleigh County Teacher, was charged with accessory before the fact after she allegedly handed a gun to her boyfriend, Eric Baker. Baker was charged with Malicious Wounding after allegedly shooting Nathaniel Combs in the face after a fight. But Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney Ben Hatfield said Combs dropped the charges against both Pettry and Baker.

Hatfield said Combs did not show up to the preliminary hearing for Baker and Pettry on time, which resulted in Magistrate Peck granting the defense lawyers’ motions to dismiss charges. Combs then showed up at a later time, and during an interview with Beckley Police and the prosecuting attorney’s office, Combs said he did not want to charge Baker and Pettry.


BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — “Now is the time when you need to be giving them a good example, and this is just devastating,” said one Raleigh County parent, who wants to remain anonymous.

This parent expressed concern about her daughter’s teacher, Hilarie Pettry. She was arrested along with her boyfriend after a shooting Saturday night.

Police said Pettry’s boyfriend, Eric Baker, and his coworker, Nathaniel Combs, got into a fight. During that fight, police told 59News Pettry pulled out a gun.

“Mr. Baker asks Ms. Pettry to obtain the gun, in which she does go obtain the gun, points the gun at everybody, and at this point the fight breaks up,” said Lt. Jason McDaniel with the Beckley Police Department.

Police said Combs then ran to his car, and Baker allegedly followed him and shot him in the face. Baker was arrested on the charge of malicious wounding, and Pettry was charged for handing him the gun.

This Raleigh County Parent said her daughter is a seventh grader in Pettry’s class at Shady Spring Middle School. She heard about the shooting when her daughter came home from school, earlier this week.

“My child came home from school and said that they were in the middle of a class and their teacher had received a phone call from a prepaid prison,” the concerned parent said.

This mother said she has certain expectations for her children’s teachers.

“As a parent, when you send your child to school, you are sending them to a school where you feel that your child is going to learn, and be nurtured by people that you hold to a higher standard.”

Now hearing all the details police said happened that day, she is worried about her daughter’s education.

Raleigh County School Superintendent David Price said he could not comment on if any disciplinary actions will be taken against Pettry.


BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — A teacher with Raleigh County Schools is facing charges for her alleged involvement in a shooting.

On May 1, 2021, officers with the Beckley Police Department responded to Raleigh General Hospital for a report of a man with a gunshot wound. The victim was identified as Nathaniel Combs. After talking to witnesses, police concluded the shooting happened at a home on Woodlawn Avenue in Beckley.

According to court documents, Eric Baker got into a physical fight with the victim at his house after a disagreement at work. During the fight, police say Baker asked his girlfriend, Hilarie Pettry, to grab his gun. Pettry allegedly pointed the gun at the victim and his girlfriend, threatening to shoot them. Documents state she then handed the gun to Baker.

Combs and his girlfriend ran to the car when Baker allegedly followed them. Police say Baker tried to ‘pistol whip’ the victim when the gun went off, hitting Combs in the face.

Hilarie Pettry is charged with brandishing a deadly weapon and accessory before the fact. Raleigh County Superintendent David Price, confirmed Pettry is a teacher with Raleigh County Schools.

Baker was arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding.

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